Category Archives: My bookshelf

Adventures in Books… 2017 Part 1

I’m going to share the books I’ve read a little differently this year – with as short a review as possible!

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck – loved it!

The Twelve Dates of Christmas – fun, easy read!

Wishful Drinking – fab, I miss Carrie Fisher!

Get Your Shit Together – loved it even more!

Shockoholic – perfect timing for me to read this!

Cheer Up, Love – another one hits the spot!

The Princess Diarist – Star Wars from a different perspective!

Recent Reads… 2016 part 2

So it looks like I have been extremely rubbish with my book reviews this year, all the while I’ve been reading more than I did last year. I’m currently thinking of different ways I can review the books I read to make it easier on myself to review them and be able to look back and see what I enjoyed or did not enjoy. That is the main reason I like reviewing as it is a journal for me so that I can look back on things.

So catching up on things since January here is everything I’ve been reading:
strange weather in tokyo

Strange Weather in Tokyo – This was a wild card for me and I enjoyed it in a weird way. It was an intriguing story and not one I would normally chose, but I liked the idea of reading something set in Japan when I’m going there later this year.

Dead Beat

Dead Beat: The Dresden Files, Book Seven (The Dresden Files series 7) –  This was another audiobook for me that moved the story along in the series with this time battling necromancers.

Proven Guilty

Proven Guilty: The Dresden Files, Book Eight (The Dresden Files series 8) – This was another audiobook in the series and I enjoyed it as it bought back in the White Council. Harry is assigned to investigate black magic and this gives some insight into his past.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Coffee Nerd: How to Have Your Coffee and Drink It Too – I’ve been reading up on making better coffee as this is a skill I want to improve upon. This gave me lots of information about the amount of water versus beans and brew time. I’m still experimenting but I like having this as reference.

the lie tree

The Lie Tree – This was a gift from my friend and I read it in one day. It was a good read; quick and easy, while engaging and entertaining.

White night

White Night: The Dresden Files, Book Nine (The Dresden Files series 9) – Another one in the series and another engaging story.


Moranifesto – Loved this book. It was a great listen and one I want to get in paperback now so I can scribble in it and underline sentences to commit them to memory.

the invisble library

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library series Book 1) – I decided to get this on the recommendation of my friend and really enjoyed it. I wish this was what it was really like to work in a library with multiple realities each with slightly different books and stories, but similar at the same time. I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

a court of mist and fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses) – I really enjoyed the first one in the series and as expected I enjoyed this one as well. It’s a simple read, but engaging and intriguing all the way through. I liked the characters and the their development through the book. I love straight forward fantasy with fae and high lords and magic as it’s not reality at all. Plus you can look at all the fandoms and really get to understand the characters through different perspectives.

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Adventures in Books… Illumicrate Subscription Box

I’m a big book lover and have been watching online all the different subscription boxes available in the US with envy. The only this that has stopped me from ordering from overseas is the outragores shipping costs and custom charges. It’s taken me a few months to sign up, but I finally did to Illumicrate, which is currently a quarterly subscription box!

The box arrived almost two weeks ago and I was so busy I only unpacked it this last Friday in time for the Bank Holiday. My aim with these boxes is to read the book that is included as my next book so that I stay on top of them and they do not get added to the TBR pile and disappear. I want to broaden my bookshelf and enjoy treating myself to something like this (instead of food) and the extra goodies you get are lovely to spread over more time that just reading the book.

The box comes all packaged nicely with everything protected. It was lovely to open it and receive the this positive thank you straight away.

Pippin wanted to help me open the box – the only issue when trying to take unpacking photos!

I loved opening right to a list of what is inside so that as I pulled things out I could refer to the specifics of each item and where they come from.

My unpacking was hinder a bit my Pippin wanting to smell everything so I ended up taking one big photo of everything to save time!

The box this time contains some exciting and fun things:

  1. When We Collided by Emery Lord – I’m intrigued by this book as I have seen it on a couple of YA mental health book lists and it’s perfect timing for where I am right now. Also a signed bookplate I have already stuck in the book as I felt that is where it needs to be.
  2. What happens in bookclub, stays in book club mug – this is going to be perfect for picnics and travelling as it’s lightweight and fits my personality.
  3. To Be Read List – a little notepad I will probably use for all kinds of shopping lists or little review notes for books I’ve read.
  4. Bookworm clip – a very cute extra large paper clip. I’m not sure where I am going to use this, but its so cute I might just pop it in one my books to display on my bookshelf.
  5. Readers Gonna Read pin – I love this and was only thinking the other day I wanted to start finding some fun pins to put on a bag or on my work lanyard maybe.
  6. A stamp – this is also very cute, but again I have no idea how I’m going to use it. It’s on a lovely label so I could put it on display by keeping it on the label.
  7. Extras – fun badges, postcards, and a preview of Strange the Dreamer!

It was lovely to receive a box of non-food goodies through the post. I’m going to continue with this for a while, but I think these boxes are things I will sign up to for a bit then stop, but then sign up to again in the future!

Recent Reads… Catching Up!


It’s been quite a while since I wrote a post about books and I have a bit of catching up to do. I have a couple of books I finished at the end of last year and a my great start to this year so far!

Queen of Shadows – The 4th in the series and I enjoyed it a lot. After heading off to another continent in the previous book Aelin is back in the Empire and ready for revenge. I love a series and being able to read them as they come out is both exciting and infuriating. I find these fairly fast to read and enjoy being transported to another world. Overall a good read in my opinion and worth starting the series if you like fantasy  with strong female heroines.

The Red Queen – This book kept coming up in various book blogs I follow on Tumblr and so when I decided to treat myself to a selection books for my birthday I chose to give a new series a go. This is set in what feels like a post apocalyptic fantasy world where the world id divided between those with red blood and those with silver blood. I found it an engaging read and the class politics thrilling. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer – I have a soft spot for the Percy Jackson series so when a new series came out set in the same world, but based on the viking gods I couldn’t wait to read it. I was waiting for the paperback as although hardbacks are lovely books on shelves I’m not a fan of carrying them around, however this was a bargain I couldn’t pass up. I found this book good fun! I love how the author manages to teach you about the mythology while embed it within a really engaging story. Another series I am looking forward to reading as the books are published.

The Girl on the Train – A book I borrowed form a friend after she recommended it. I don’t think I would have chosen to pick it up if someone hadn’t recommended it. It’s a crime/thriller. I can’t say I really enjoyed it and I definitely skimmed some of the parts that felt like they were moving slow. I always base my opinions on these types of books on whether I can guess who did it, and with this one I didn’t until just before it was revealed and that’s good. I like it when they don’t give it away too quickly. However I didn’t really like any of the characters and found them in all honesty quite annoying. I’m not sure I will see the film when it comes out.

Blood Rites – An audiobook this time to change things up a bit. I’ve really gotten into listening to an audiobook when I get into bed. I love that I can put the sleep timer on and then usually find I just need to recap a couple of minutes from the previous chapter then next night to find where I fell asleep. Some nights I listen to quite a bit, other nights I drop off very quickly. I think I’ve said it before, for me it all comes down to the narrator for me with audiobooks and each night currently I have James Masters reading me to sleep. This was a good book and revealed some background about Harry, which I needed as it was all a bit of a mystery.

The Queen of Tearling – Another book with queen in the title! A little trend developed in my book purchasing in January I think. This was a wildcard for me, but I liked it a lot. It was a cross between chicklit and YA fantasy for me – chick fantasy – and I liked it a lot. A lost princess returned to her throne and the politics that surrounds it and the legacy of a mother she never knew. It was gripping and I am looking forward to reading the next one to find out happens with the countries on her border.

I’ve been reading a lot since January and am finding it relaxing. I needed to pick some books I really wanted to read, rather than force myself to read ones I have won or because it was a bookclub choice. For me reading should be fun and exciting and transport me to other worlds I can only imagine. So I’ve set my reading goal for 2016 to read 24 books. I’ve also set my budget to buy new books as 24 so I can enjoy going out and explorng book shops and buying the books that interest me.

Right now I am currently reading three books that fit that bill:

Strange Weather in Tokyo – a find on my birthday bookshop trip. It sounds intriguing because of my trip to Japan planned for later this year.

Dead Beat – Another audiobook and the next one in the Harry Dresden series.

The Miniaturist – a gift from bookclub and one I am intrigued by as I kept seeing it in shops, but hadn’t bought it. To me this is similar to The Night Circus, which I loved!

I have few books in my ‘to be read’ pile and I plan on buying some new ones in March when I go exploring some new bookshops.

Happy reading adventures everyone!

Recent Reads – November 2015 Edition

I read most of this month’s books int he last week of the month! For some reason I got stuck in the middle of the month and it took having a few days off to be able to get really stuck into a book to get me back into the flow of reading.

First up was the latest Robert Galbraith book called a Career of Evil. I really enjoyed this book and it kept me gripped throughout. I also like how the characters have developed through the three books so far, but can see there is so much more to uncover about them we don’t know yet. The story was good and I didn’t guess the ending until close to the reveal, which was great. I’m glad my friend caved and bought the hardcover version as I was waiting for the paperback, so this meant I could read it much earlier than planned.

Next up in the month was Mindy Kaling’s first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? I wanted to like this more than I did. I wonder if I should have bought this as an audiobook, rather than a paperback. I have previously enjoyed non fiction books read by their authors and have found them extra funny as you get the exact tone they intended to use. I found the parts about her childhood great, but I think as I was not a fan of the Office and did not grow up with American late night comedy shows I missed some of the context of the second half of the book. I have loved some of her essay’s I have read in magazines, so I am going to try her second book, but as an audio book.

The last book of the month was A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. I loved the Throne of Glass series and so thought I would give this a go. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but once the main characters met I found it much more interesting. I felt I was learning about the world they are living in and it was fascinating. I love the details of the world and the history of the Fae as it draws me in and makes me feel like I am there as well. This has the same easy reading of the other series, but is a different enough world to avoid too many comparisons, but that could just be me not drawing them. Overall I loved this book so much so I stayed up until 2am to finish it on a work night, which hasn’t happened in forever! I can’t wait for the second book to come out next year.

I’m working my way through my to-read pile of new paperbacks I bought in the last couple of months and am loving it. I realised how much I love buying, reading and finding places for them on my bookshelf. I’m going to make sure I budget in books into my 2016 as they are something I fully enjoy and cherish seeing everyday.

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